What ragnarhedin said. FFG's Lovecraftian products share the same world and characters, so the art doesn't matter when it's actually good. The LCG got a lot of recycled Arkham Horror art, but lately we've seen lots of new and great character art. Maybe Arkham Horror will be the one getting the hand-me-downs now ;)
Just thought I'd register and weigh in on this discussion. No, I'm not affiliated with FFG
I played a demo game of Elder Sign yesterday at PAX, and it was a helluva lot of fun. I would agree to a point that it is 'Arkham Horror light' - you play an investigator with specific advantages and disadvantages, it has as it has a similar sense of impending doom, and it shares the same mythos and locations.
However, it plays much faster, and requires less rulebook diving for new players. Also, I don't think it suffers for being lighter. The mechanics are simple, but not simplistic. They allow for some good strategy and variation, without needing 30 pages of rulebook.
Three of us played and were able to learn the rules on the fly. We had a blast, and I would have bought it on the spot, had it been available. As much as I love Arkham Horror (I've even owned the original since '88), I would be more likely to play Elder Sign. It takes less time, and my 8 y.o. would be able to pick up the rules and strategy pretty quickly. Dare I say, it's a family Cthulhu game?
In short, don't knock it 'til you've tried it. If dice games aren't your thing, they aren't your thing. I wouldn't try to change anyone's mind on that. However, if you love all things Cthulhu, you should at least play a game at your FLGS.
I don't think it being a dice game is actually the problem. If anything it's the opposite. ES isn't a dice game, simply a game that uses a lot of dice. Mechanically, it's a different sort of game.
I think the most damning criticism I've seen thus far is surprising lack of strategy involved and very little player choices to make during the game. Everything hinges on the dice, and either you can make the dice work or you can't.
I'm still interested (though I may have to buy to try it), but reviews have been very mixed. The details are consistent, just opinions differ, so it all depends on what sort of gamer you are. Which is a positive really; the game is probably sound, it's just not for everyone (but neither is AH). I'll take that over a flawed game any day.